Appeal court Dismiss Suit Challenging Buhari academic Qualification

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The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal challenging the academic qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari’s to stand for the last presidential election held in 2019.

The lead judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, upheld an earlier judgment by a Federal High Court in Abuja, which had dismissed the suit on the grounds that it was statute-barred and robbed the court of jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The Appeal ruled that issues raised in the case have become statute-barred, the suit having not been filed at the trial court, within the 14 days the cause of action arose as stipulated under section 285(9) of the Nigerian Constitution.
A three-member panel of the court let by Justice AtinukeAkomolafe-Wilson had reserved judgment for Friday after entertaining arguments from the appellants on Wednesday.

The applicants, Kalu Kalu, Labaran Ismail and Hassy Kyari el-Kuris, had approached the appellate court after a Federal High Court dismissed their application on the grounds that it was brought outside the specified period of time.

In a judgement on the appeal, read by Mohammed Idris on behalf of the three-member panel, the court agreed with the high court and struck out the motion.

“We have decided to settle on the preliminary objection. To determine the issue, we have to pay serious attention to when the cause of action arose.

“I have no doubt in my mind that the cause of action arose on October 18 when the documents said to be false that is the Curriculum Vitae and affidavit were submitted to INEC in form CF001,” the court ruled.

It then added that based on section 285 (9) of the 1999 Constitution, the case was brought later than the stipulated period of 14 days when a pre-election matter ought to have been brought.

The court further held that even if the first part of the application had succeeded and the court agreed that the matter was not brought out of time, the stipulated period when such a pre-election matter ought to have been determined elapsed since May.

Consequently, the court ruled that it cannot accord itself any jurisdiction outside that given to it by the constitution.

Mr Buhari’s educational qualification is also one of the grounds of the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the presidential election tribunal.

Mr Abubakar came second in the February presidential election won by Mr Buhari.

The opposition candidate, however, alleges, among others, that Mr Buhari lied on oath about his educational qualifications and that the electoral commission manipulated the result in favour of the president.

Mr Abubakar and the PDP are still arguing their petitions at the tribunal.

Appeal court Dismiss Suit Challenging Buhari academic Qualification 1

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